Earlier today, we told you about the Buccaneers signing Donald Penn and how much his presence will mean to keeping QB Josh Freeman in an up-right position this fall. But he’s got an interesting reason for ending his quick hold-out and signing a new deal worth $48 million over six years.
As the St. Petersburg Times writes, it’s because of Giants rookie Chad Jones and the car accident in which he nearly lost his leg.
“I got a 20-month year old son at home. You never know what tomorrow is going to entail,'' Penn told the Times. "Chad Jones was a great friend of mine and still is a good friend of mine. You guys see what happened to him. You never know what's going to happen the next day. You can try everything to be careful, but still, that was a freak accident. He couldn't have stopped that if he wanted to.
"My family was a big part. I wanted to get something now, because if I had gone out this year, knock on wood, I'm not injury prone -- but what if I got hurt? Where would that have left me? I just wanted to get it done because I felt it was well overdue and I think the organization felt it was well overdue.''
Penn – who happens to share an agent with Jones, as well – had refused to sign his restricted free agent tender offer of $3.168 million, and the club had gotten a little nasty with him, particularly GM Mark Dominik. Though it was thought Penn would hold out from training camp – particularly since, as of a few days ago, it didn’t seem like the two sides were negotiating at all – Penn said he called his agent and told him to make something happen.
"Do whatever it takes to be in there, because when it was getting closer, it was like, "Man, I've never missed a camp before. I don't want to do that. That's not the type of guy I am.’” Penn said. “I had a long talk with (agent Rocky Arceneaux) and said, "Let's get it done. I'll make some sacrifices if I have to, but let's get it done.”
Penn, with $20 million guaranteed, will return to his LT spot, filling one very large hole on Tampa Bay’s offensive line.
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